Thursday night. The downright depressing covid news keeps on coming, but the sheer mass of it has made banality out of what would’ve been horrifying before the pandemic.

Media outlets no longer post how many people die each day, though there sporadic reports of some states, some cities getting more cases, more deaths. A few days ago, even the bare-minimum official death count managed to exceed the US death toll in World War I, but that was also mostly ignored. What’s really strange is that masks themselves have become a political issue. The fundamental scientific knowledge of airborne disease is being dismissed as some liberal conspiracy, a sign of cowardice, and so on.

The divide is particularly interesting on the state level. California governor Gavin Newsom has issued an order calling for mandatory mask use. There are, of course, lots of exceptions – if you’re walking, running, dining 6′ away from the staff, etc. (I would love to see servers toss plates and coffee at their shitty patrons.) On the other hand, Nebraska governor Pete Ricketts said that counties that require masks in government offices will not receive federal covid relief funds.

If this were a work of fiction, no self-respecting editor would allow such blatant partisan prose to be published. It’s too much on the nose, too ridiculous to be believed in. I heard that some of the contemporary accounts from the last days of the Roman Empire are so bizarre and outlandish that historians think they were just exaggerations – fables designed to make a point about the political decay. Some think that all of those stories, weird though they may be, are true. I think our own age will be remembered the same way: just far too many random happenstances, all unbelievable and stranger than fiction. Heh… There’s a chance that if someone reads this blog far enough in the future, they’ll think this was an exercise in creative writing, embellished here and there with my own imagination. It’ll definitely be easier to accept than the fact the world has turned into one giant satire, if only for a while.

If Kurt Vonnegut were still around, he’d have a blast.